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New Member

Reporting of New Zealand KiwiSaver on US tax returns?

My daughter is a US citizen permanently resident in New Zealand.  We are trying to figure out how to report KiwiSaver (New Zealand retirement plan) contributions, gains, and interest on her US tax returns.  Based on internet searches, there does not appear to be consensus among tax professionals helping US expats in New Zealand.  Some say a Form 8621 is required.  Others say a Form 3620 and/or Form 3520A are required.  It sounds like many many people report nothing for income.  I am inclined to include her contributions and her employer contributions in gross income under Form 2555 (Foreign Earned Income), but what about interest, dividends, and gains?  Since she will pay zero US income taxes, I am inclined to be over-inclusive and just report it as 1099 gains.  We are not inclined to pay for a tax advisor for in excess of $500 given she will end up paying zero US taxes.  Does anyone have experience or insight with this?   (Note, we are very familiar with the FBAR Form 114 and Form 8938 reporting requirements, so we don't need any help with those.  We will report the KiwiSaver as an account on the FBARForm 114.)

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Level 11
Level 11

Reporting of New Zealand KiwiSaver on US tax returns?

@TomSF , my intial reading of how the Kiwi saver scheme works  ( with contributions from employee, employer and the Govt. ) and the control that Inland Revenue exerts,  to me it seems to be a cross between Social Security and  self- directed 401/403  tax advantaged savings  meant for retirement.  So , US should not be taxing  the growth till the funds are  distributed to the recipient.  This is true also because the gains are not available to the recipient / beneficiary.  Therefore , I do not see any reason to recognize these earnings till distribution is taken.  I will also take the time to read the  US-NZ tax treaty  to see if my position should change -- absent that I hold by position -- NOT  taxable at this time.  

Furthermore it should not come under FBAR or FATCA either because  it is not  a  specified financial asset ( it is not available , it is constrained  till she retires ) Nor FBAR  because it is not a liquid  bank account.  No different than a 403 or a  401 K account

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Expert Alumni

Reporting of New Zealand KiwiSaver on US tax returns?

I thought I would add my opinion to @pk opinion.

 

To be conservative, you may wish to report the the unrealized growth as ordinary income along with any interest and gains. The income in the foreign retirement fund may be classified as a PFIC, Passive Foreign Investment Funds, (which has complicated reporting requirements).  

 

TurboTax is not set up to handle PFICs.  

 

To be on the safe side, I would file the FBAR and Form 8938 if it applies. 

 

US Requirements for Foreign Pension Plans

 

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Level 11
Level 11

Reporting of New Zealand KiwiSaver on US tax returns?

@TomSF  I have no issue with @KarenJ2  opinion and the referred article.    Yes you should choose  which way you want/ need  to proceed.  My only concern for  opting to stay with my position is that this treats  all foreign ( absent treaty limits ) the same as  US  tax deferred  retirement saving account and asserts this position as such.  Thus it avoids the downstream  possible issue   ( again absent a specific guideline / assertion  in the treaty )of what happens when the  distribution takes place.  In this particular  type of savings account wherein the  govt of NZ is participating it becomes  more  of an issue  because most  of the treaties that I have studied, the right to tax govt. funded  distributions are generally reserved  to be taxed  ONLY by the  country whom paid it. i.e. USA will not be allowed to tax that portion of the  retirement distribution  ( including growth thereof ) that was from NZ govt. sources. -- it will have to be a Taxed at Source.   IMHO